Lack of footsoldiers in Maharaja's army.
Back doors of some Air India aircraft are non- functional due to shortage of cabin crew Commander of Mumbai- Delhi flight refuses to fly with only three hostesses on board Staff shortage delayed as many as 16 flights for hours at Delhi airport on Monday
SHORTAGE of cabin crew at Air India ( AI) could endanger lives of its passengers. The national carrier operates some of its flights with only one entry- exit point since the back door has been rendered useless due to staff shortage.
On Tuesday, commander of Mumbai- Delhi flight AI 310 S. N. Jadhav refused to fly the old Airbus 321 with only three hostesses on board insisting on following Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) guidelines, which state that there must be, at least, five cabin crew in narrow- body domestic planes with both the doors being operational.
According to sources, many AI flights are operating with the back door shown as inoperative due to shortage of cabin crew. " By showing the back door of the aircraft as inoperative, we cannot use it even after it lands at the airport because it is sealed. In an emergency like crash- landing, there would be a near stampede with only one exit door. You have, at least, 200 passengers on board.
It is very risky to fly with only one exit- entry door. Flying with one door as inoperative is not uncommon to us but it must be discouraged," an AI crew member said.
Staff shortage delayed as many as 16 flights for hours at Delhi airport on Monday affecting 3,000 passengers. There was shortage of 65 hostesses for 75 domestic flights and 38 for 16 international flights. Similarly, pilots for both domestic and international flights were short of the required strength as per the duty roster.
There was chaos at the airport as many international passengers had to take connecting flights for the next leg of their journey.
The situation more or less remained the same on Tuesday, airline sources told M AIL T ODAY . Some cabin crews alleged that the management is soft towards Mumbai- based crew as they have links with Shiv Sena and other political parties. Besides, the airline is facing a heavy rate of attrition with 33 pilots having quit this year alone.
IN AIR POCKET
; Air India ( AI) operates some of its flights with only one entry- exit point ; Many AI flights are operating with the back door shown as inoperative due to shortage of cabin crew ; In an emergency like crash- landing, there would be a near stampede with only one exit door ; AI also facing a heavy rate of attrition with 33 pilots having quit this year alone ; Some of the pilots joined other airlines without even resigning ; Many pilots have resigned citing inefficiency and weak administration, which they allege has caused the mess at the carrier
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